New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Counting in Kiwi

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Take a numerical journey from 1 to 21 in a quintessentially ‘Kiwi’ way with the Counting in Kiwi stamp issue. With each number, you’ll discover unique and quirky aspects of New Zealand’s culture, history and Kiwiana.

Issue information

Each of the 21 stamps in this issue has a distinctive ‘Kiwi’ flavour. Of course we started at number 1, which is represented by State Highway 1 – the road that runs the length of both the North and South Islands. As we counted higher, we discovered snippets of the New Zealand way of life until we reach 21 – the milestone birthday that is widely celebrated in New Zealand with a traditional 21st key.

We've selected a few stamps from the sheet to give you a glimpse into this issue:

2 = Two jandals, one for each foot

Worn from the beach to the street to the backyard, jandals are a real Kiwi favourite that have been an essential part of the New Zealand summer for as long as we can remember.

4 = Four stars of the Southern Cross

The four stars that make up the Southern Cross constellation (Crux) are among the brightest in the southern sky. Together they serve as a night-time navigational aid that is visible year-round in New Zealand. This recognisable constellation also features on the New Zealand flag.

5 = Five years old, off to school

At the ripe old age of five, Kiwi children are sent off to school for the first time. This important milestone was captured on this stamp, which featured a small child fully equipped with her school bag.

8 = Number 8 wire, that'll sort it

Kiwis are known for creating something out of nothing – particularly with a piece of number 8 wire. This versatile wire was commonly used for fencing around New Zealand farms, and has become a symbol of Kiwi ingenuity.

18 = 18 years, the voting age

Since 1974, 18 has been the age at which New Zealanders obtain the right to vote. This distinctive stamp featured the statue of Premier Richard John Seddon, which stands in Parliament's grounds, along with the well known ticking system that represents New Zealand’s voting process.

Counting in Kiwi - Stamp by Stamp

This iconic sheet of 21 stamps was a fun representation of Kiwi culture. Following on from the popular A to Z of New Zealand stamp issue, this time we used numbers to tell entertaining stories about our unique nation.

  • 1 = State Highway 1
  • 2 = Two jandals, one for each foot
  • 3 = Three-hour ferry ride across Cook Strait
  • 4 = Four stars of the Southern Cross
  • 5 = Five years old, off to school
  • 6 = Six runs in cricket – out of the park
  • 7 = Seven netballers make a team
  • 8 = Number 8 wire, that'll sort it
  • 9 = Dressed to the nines
  • 10 = Ten guitars – dance to them
  • 11 = First 11
  • 12 = A dozen Bluff oysters
  • 13 = 13 lamingtons make a baker's dozen
  • 14 = 14 national parks in New Zealand
  • 15 = 15 players make a rugby team
  • 16 = 16 years old and you can drive – carefully
  • 17 = 17 hundred and 69. Captain James Cook lands here
  • 18 = 18 years, the voting age
  • 19 = 19 protected surf breaks
  • 20 = 20 bucks
  • 21 = 21 years old, you get the key to the door

First Day Covers

As you count from 1 to 21, with each number you’ll discover what it means to be Kiwi – whether it’s our history, culture, landscape or way of life.

The full set of 21 stamps was also spread across a set of three first day covers, the first of which has numbers 1 (State Highway 1) to 3 (three-hour ferry ride across Cook Strait). The second first day cover included numbers 4 (four stars of the Southern Cross) to 10 (ten guitars – the popular song of the 1960s), and the third first day cover included numbers 11 (first 11) to 21 (21st key).

If you purchased the full sheet of stamps or set of first day covers you received a free poster!

Product Listing for Counting in Kiwi

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Set of Stamps

Mint, used or cancelled sheet of 21 x 60c stamps.

Set of First Day Covers Set of three first day covers with gummed stamps affixed. $14.10
Poster Poster featuring artwork from the stamp issue. $9.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 10 August 2011
Number of stamps: 21 gummed stamps
Denominations: 21 x 60c
Stamps designed by: Assignment Group, Wellington, New Zealand
First day covers designed by: Stamps and Collectables Business, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 35mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 21
Perforation gauge: 14
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks, A and B barcode blocks, and logo and value blocks were supplied as one sheet of 21 stamps.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 9 August 2013.